“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.” — Dean Kamen. The Gujarat government, which has been on a continuous quest to encourage innovations that can help solve India’s pressing problems, is all set to host the mega Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS) in January 2019. But before that, to ignite the spark of innovation and to enthuse people about entrepreneurship, the state plans to organise the Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit (VGSTS) 2018. The summit, which will be held on October 11-13 this year, aims to leverage technology as a catalyst to boost entrepreneurship in the state.
Vibrant Gujarat Startup and Technology Summit, 2018
The Gujarat government’s vision for using innovation to solve India’s problems is ambitious and reformative. The Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit seeks to find answers to one primary question: How do we create viable IT-enabled innovation ecosystems worldwide?
The three-day event, to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, will bring together hundreds of pathbreakers from around the world with a passion for creating sustainable development solutions through global innovation. The event will feature 40 futuristic speeches by global leaders.
The Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit 2018 will showcase the forces driving India’s and Gujarat’s startup and technology revolution; part of its goal is also to strengthen the Indian startup ecosystem. It will invite startups using advanced technologies to solve problems across domains such as agriculture, healthcare, mobility, women’s safety, etc.
The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani will inaugurate the VGSTS in the presence of other dignitaries from the government, business leaders, economists, academicians, policymakers, and industry stalwarts. This summit will also enable business-to-business and business-to-government meetups.
Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit is expected to witness participation from 400-500 national and international delegates, 2,500 participants, more than 600 exhibitors, and a footfall of 40K from across the world. The startups participating in the summit will have the opportunity to pitch in front of investors, corporates etc. The event will also provide a ground for reverse pitching.
The carefully curated programme takes in multiple interesting events the highlights being the following, The Vibrant Gujarat Grand Challenge, TIS Talk short for, technology Innovation Startup Solutions and a Tech exhibition.
Vibrant Gujarat Grand Challenge
With a view to encourage innovation by startups, the Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit will also host a Grand Challenge with total prize money of INR 3 Cr up for grabs. The competition will seek innovative solutions that address India’s pressing problems under eight themes — Agritech, Fintech, Smart and Shared Mobility, Women-Centric Solutions, Manufacturing 4.0, Governance 2030, Maritime and Military Intelligence, and Healthtech. Also, for entries falling outside the ambit of these eight themes, there is a category called ‘other’ under which people can apply.
The Gujarat government also wants to use the event as an opportunity to drive home the point that India is facing some very serious threats — pollution, water scarcity, lack of adequate healthcare etc. It also wants to spread awareness that the onus of creatively using technologies to help shape a better world lies not only with inventors but with thinkers.
The challenge is open to applicants of all nationalities, age groups, and qualifications, but only startups registered/incubated in India are eligible to participate in the Vibrant Gujarat Grand Challenge.
The last date of application for the Vibrant Gujarat Grand Challenge is September 10, 2018.
The jury will evaluate the startups on the basis of the following factors: thoroughness, innovation, practicality, technical feasibility, business feasibility, scalability, and team competency.
What You Can Witness At The Tech Exhibition
Beyond the Grand Challenge, a Tech Exhibition will be organised as part of the Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit. It will showcase the “best in the next” — digital solutions, ideas, innovations, new products, and visions — and unite companies and countries, investors and innovators, projects and decision-makers.
The event will be paperless and the exhibition will feature theme pavilions, seminars within stalls, B2B and B2G meetings, innovative zones and product launches, and virtual stalls and real-time talking.
The Technology Innovation Startup Solutions Talks
Another highlight of the VGSTS is TIS (Technology Innovation Startup Solutions) Talks — inspired from globally acknowledged TED Talks — which are being organised with an aim of starting open-ended conversations for one-to-all networking to enable better synergies among the stakeholders.
As part of the TIS Talks, the government will host an investors’ masterclass, workshops on cloud computing, intellectual property, the National Stock Exchange, design thinking, investor pitching, and AWS and architecture for startups, and generation next sessions on emerging and new technologies like Blockchain, Artificial intelligence and more.
The TIS Talks will also organise seminars on the following topics:
- Building Blocks of Sustainable Startup Ecosystem: Global Perspectives
- The Magic of Failure/The Power of Second Chances
- Financial Wisdom for Startups
- Innovation Management
- Marketing Metrics
- Branding for Startups
- Support Framework for Startups
- Nurturing Sustainable and Inclusive Startups
What’s In It for Startups?
Startups and aspiring entrepreneurs will get loads of opportunities to network with angel investors, incubators, and global accelerators as well as display their proofs of ideas at the summit. They can also explore mentoring/evaluation and funding options and connect with business leaders/experts, policymakers, CXOs of tech giants, and corporate leaders.
The summit will also provide an experiential learning platform for innovators and entrepreneurs from across the world — they will get to meet and interact with a bunch of expert speakers, who will address a range of challenges and doubts related to entrepreneurship.
Among those who will be sharing their insights at the VGSTS are well-known names such as Debjani Ghosh, president, NASSCOM; Murali Talasila, partner and Innovation Leader, PwC; Rajan Anandan, MD, Google India; Hemendra Mathur, Venture Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund; and Karuna Gopal, Founder, Institute of Futuristic Cities and more.
Further, the summit will facilitate startups to demonstrate their ideas and products at an exhibition so the attendees can experience next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), IoT, Blockchain, Big Data, and more.
Gujarat: Fuelling Innovation For A Digital India
According to a report by Invest India — Startup India, more than 20K startups in the country have created a total market value of $50 Bn and made India the second-largest startup ecosystem in the world.
A strong proponent of innovation and creation, Gujarat announced its IT startup policy in June 2016. It also became the first state to introduce the Student Startup and Innovation Policy in January 2017.
As part of the initiative, a State Innovation Fund with a corpus of $29.3 Mn (INR 200 Cr) will be provided to students in the next five years. The state government will allocate $14.6 Mn (INR 100 Cr) of this fund and the remaining will be created by internal sources.
Recently, the Gujarat government claimed to have provided 175 startups with financial assistance worth $3.2 Mn (INR 22 Cr) over a span of two years, in line with the government’s aim to facilitate 2,000 startups by 2021.
Recently, Goa launched its startup policy, which envisions to make the state one of the most preferred startup destinations in India and feature in the top 25 startup destinations in Asia by 2025.
The Rajasthan government, which too has been aggressively working on digitalising the state and fuelling innovation, recently organised Rajasthan Digifest, which aims to give a boost to the technological landscape of the state by keeping the youth front and centre. The event saw a participation of a whopping 25,000 people and approximately 50 startups.
Both the central and state governments are working in tandem under the Digital India initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to encourage innovation and support the startup ecosystem and the Vibrant Gujarat Summit is a commendable effort in this direction.